moving on.

30 Nov

For the past few weeks I’ve been struggling with something.  I’m trying to move on from depression and perfectionism, and live a normal life, whatever that is!

For the first week I sorta felt like I had just been diagnosed with a fatal disease.  I kept thinking, “the way I’ve been thinking my whole life is wrong!!!! So what am I supposed to do?  I can’t even get up out of bed, because however I run my day will be the wrong way…” yada yada.  That frozen state of being is all part of perfectionism and depression though.  You  don’t want to do anything wrong, so you don’t do it at all, and then you get so depressed about not doing anything that even the simplest tasks, (ie taking a shower) become monumental.

For the past two years I’ve been sort of in this vicious cycle of obsession, perfection and depression.  I become obsessed with the idea that I can perfect something, I can be the perfect bible college student, I can be the perfect artsy girlfriend, I can be the perfect Vancouverite, I can be the perfect piano teacher, I can be the perfect visual merchandiser, I can be the perfect student, I can be the perfect vegan… and so on.  Then I set ridiculously high standards, making to-do lists that are incredibly detailed and comically  unreasonable.  Crafting this list takes about an hour, which is silly, because I’m wasting time just creating the list!  Then when I set out to do it, I get the first few things done, am dissatisfied with them, and quit.  I do this for a few days, weeks, months, until I just stop.  Then I get depressed.

In this period I don’t want to wear any clothes that are uncomfortable, the only food I cook is simple and salty, I don’t make my bed, I let dust pile up everywhere, I make excuses for why I wasn’t productive, and I watch the calendar pass by.  It’s hard, and it’s disgusting to be there, and I sit there until I become obsessed with the next perfect thing.

The next week after I discovered all this stuff, I didn’t do much.  I set pretty reasonable daily goals, but still could feel myself routing back to my old way of thinking.  I did however go to a therapists appointment, and she was remarkable.  She opened my eyes to loads of things I hadn’t known, or seen with my previous thought patterns, so at least that was encouraging.

This past week though I really feel like I’m coming up and out from drowning in depression.  When I’m depressed I feel like the smallest things are huge!  Emptying the dishwasher feels like a huge chore, and usually much more than that (cleaning wise) just seems colossal for one day.  I had a dream the other night though, where I was emptying my dishwasher while talking to a friend, and it took three minutes, and it was no big deal.  It really stuck with me.  I could do these tasks and not have to dedicate my day to them, they could just be a small part of them.

Since that dream I’ve been way more conscious of how long these little chores ACTUALLY take, and it’s really small!  It’s awesome!  I feel like whenever I see something untidy, I can just tidy it up, and it won’t take any time at all! Now maybe this is coming out of depression (it feels like it could possibly be) or maybe this is just growing up, I have no idea.  The feeling is like night and day though!  Before taking out the vacuum felt like a huge ordeal, and now it seems like a quick fix for a messy floor.  It’s exciting.

I’ve realized and noticed a few other new things too which are exciting and I have another therapists appointment on Thursday, so I’ll probably realize a whole lot more then!

It’s so encouraging and empowering coming out of this, becoming the right brained person that I am, and learning to rid myself of my legalistic left brained tendencies… they don’t mesh well 😛

Take a deep breath, have a glass of water, and move on.



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